Transgender drag performer Chyna Gibson, known as Chyna Doll Dupree, was shot and killed on February 25th outside of the Bella Plaza shopping center in New Orleans. The 31-year-old N.O. native was in town from California visiting her family and celebrating Mardi Gras. Witness reported hearing multiple gunshots at the 4300 block of Downman Road around 8:30 pm, and when the police arrived, they found Gibson dead, lying between two cars parked in front of a clothing store with mutiple gunshot wounds. Neither suspects nor motives have been released by the NOLA police department.
Chyna’s murder comes as a heartfelt and devastating shock to many as she was known to be a “very loving person” who “didn’t do anything to anyone.” Her amazing dance moves and onstage persona made her famous within the LGBTQ+ ball and house pageant circles, and her death has left many people nearly speechless as they are only able to utter her hashtag: #LongLivetheDoll.
In remembering Chyna, much attention must also be paid to the recent increase of hate crimes towards the trans community. In 2016, at least 27 (the most ever recorded) transgender individuals were killed, and with only two months into the year, Chyna is one of the seven trans women reportedly killed in 2017 – all of whom are women of color. The other victims are Jaquarrius Holland (18), Ciara McElveen (21), KeKe Collier (24), JoJo Striker (23), Mesha Caldwell (41), and Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow (28).
The extremely dreadful reality of transphobic violence must continue to be pressed as an important epidemic. The reported death toll of the trans community appears to become more severe every year as at least 21 trans women were reportedly killed in 2015. Although November 20th (Transgender Day of Remembrance) is a day used to remember those we’ve lost, one day is simply not enough.
Rest in Heaven beautiful angels. -XOXO